If you know me, you know that the title of this post is bogus; I hate love triangles more than I hate Instalove and much, much more than I hate Economics.
This is probably going to come back and bite me in the ass one day, but I used to adore love triangles. Believe me, love triangles that are done right are the best–at least to a 15-year-old reader. They have the allure of the whole two-people-want-me-and-I’m-invincible trope.
The push and pull. “Will she or won’t she? She totally shouldn’t, but she might.”
“Will he or won’t he? I hope he doesn’t go for that one.”
The whole thing was fascinating to me and I loved every minute I spent reading books with love triangles.
But as went about reading more books, better books, especially better YA books, I’ve discovered that love triangles are not my thing anymore. Many a times, I’ve had to DNF books, simply because the whole push and pull was getting to be a bit much.
For starters, love triangles in YA? Not convincing. Not even closely realistic. We know that YA novels are aimed at a 15 – 19 demographic, and the entire audience, even in their real lives is only just discovering lust/love. Introducing two characters that are vying for the young MCs romantic attention in a novel, when the MC is merely 17 feels like reality has been stretched a bit too much. Sure, I’ll accept lust. But two teenagers fighting on a girl for love? In YA?
And then there’s the entire thing about both candidates being exceptionally good looking. One forbidden and hot, the other one “the perfect match” and hot. One has the reader’s approval; the other has the reader’s lust. Both are polar opposites of each other. One is an obvious safe choice; the other is a risk—albeit a risk that the MC will be having exceptionally hawt sex with, though.
For me, love triangles are the unfortunate skid marks in the commode that is crappy YA fiction. Most of them are done badly, prompting extensive head abuse, in the likes of poor Dobby above. Love triangles add nothing to books except keeping a reader hooked until the last book in the series–wherein the “big reveal” is finally made.
You want to keep me hooked to a story inspite of the love triangle?
Give me a reason to root for the character that is choosing. Give me the ammo to stick with the unfortunate mofos to be chosen. Let the chooser understand the difference between love and attraction.
And give the fucking idiots some flaws, for crying out loud! Because trust me, if you have a love triangle with characters that are perfect and sexy and experienced in sex and fucking seventeen, you can rest assured that I’m going to do this:
So. Those are my reasons.
Do you like love triangles? If yes, suggest some to me 🙂 If not, would you still read a book if it had a love triangle?